The Mapleson Cylinders

The Mapleson Cylinders

Postby Hat » 21 Jul 2013, 13:53

I must first declare a personal interest in that Lionel Mapleson (Librarian of the New York Met) was a great-uncle of mine. As the content of the internet expands I find more and more of his orchestra pit recordings are finding their way across the ethernet. Anyway, there's an ever growing number on youtube and some, I think, on archive.org and at some point there was a wikipedia page put up about them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mapleson_Cylinders

Sadly I have never seen them in the flesh. I have only ever owned, indeed, laid hands on one lone cylinder of a popular pre-Great War Music Hall song (Ship Ahoy!) and that was given to me nearly 50 years ago and I have no idea what happened to it after I left home. I had nothing to play it on but Mr Boxall, the elderly gardener who gave me the precious object and lived next door to my Granny could certainly give a spirited, if slightly cracked rendition of it. It wasn't the A J Mill & B Scott one with the nice girls that love a sailor, it was quite different, but sadly I can only conjure up my mental vision of Mr Boxall singing one line, which was "Ship Ahoy! You naughty boy!" and beyond that my memory fails me.
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Re: The Mapleson Cylinders

Postby Gmemg » 21 Jul 2013, 17:16

The Mapleson Cylinders are of the greatest importance to not only the History of sound - they were after all the first "live" reocrds but also to the History of grand opera as they contain the Only reliable recording of the voice of Jean de Reszke.

I strongly recommend anyone to buy the CD ;

"Maurice Grau at the Metropolitan Opera "

Symposium Cd 1284 which contains 41 of the Cylinders

They're not the easiest of listening and would test even a seasoned 78rpm enthusiast but are well worth the trouble (in fact i'm listening to track 6 from lohengrin sung by jean & Edouard de Reszke as i write !

here's a picture from the internet of Him with th e recording horn which was balanced on a Gantry above the stage during performances attached to the phonograph


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Re: The Mapleson Cylinders

Postby Hat » 21 Jul 2013, 18:29

Somewhere I have a picture of him in the 1920s sitting at a table in a garden, presumably in new York somewhere. My granny is in the picture and I think (but am not sure) that his brother, Col. Henry Mapleson, is in the picture too. I can't remember if Granny was visiting New York before or after her father's death. I'll have to seek it out. I've got all sorts of Mapleson stuff, unfortunately not record or gramophone related though.
I do have one battered portable gramophone and lots of records, some in quite poor condition, but some in very good condition. I have yet to go through albums of 78s that belonged to my late father-in-law that I rescued from a very damp room. The sneery probate valuer chap said they were worthless rubbish and I inwardly called him a philistine and vowed to give them a good home. I'm pretty sure that there's a lot of good classical stuff in there. I'm pretty sure there's Donald Bradman playing the piano too.
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